In 1960, McElroy, along with his colleagues, Herb Deem, Charles Lucks, and Dan Flynn, initiated the International Thermal Conductivity Conference. Born in Fairfield, Alabama, McElroy graduated from the University of Alabama with a MS degree in 1953 and earned his PhD on high temperature adiabatic calorimetry of iron and iron-carbon alloys from the University of Tennessee in 1957. Dr. McElroy was a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Thermal Insulation and was appointed Chairman of the ASTM sub-committee C-16.30 on thermal measurements. In 1959 he joined the Metals and Ceramics Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he formed the Physical Properties Group and helped establish a High Temperature Materials Laboratory. The Physical Properties Group attracted international attention, developing and applying accurate means to measure thermal conductivity by longitudinal heat flow techniques, electrical resistivity, Seebeck coefficient, thermal expansion, and specific heat of numerous scientific materials.